Readers on campus assault, mental health
Police should investigate crimes on campus
Ingrid Jacques’ column about current procedures denying male students due process (“Don’t scrap Title IX reform,” Feb. 4) is correct. A male student charged with sexual assault cannot have an attorney, cannot cross examine witnesses, cannot face his accuser, and often is not even told what he has been accused of. Nolan Finley’s earlier editorial about schools like Penn State and MSU covering up sexual assault is also correct. The obvious solution to both problems is simple. Alleged criminal acts should be handled by police, not by universities or university police. An accusation of criminal conduct should be investigated by professionals and the accused should be granted due process.
Michigan’s mental health system broken
The tragic loss of life as a result of recent police encounters with individuals who are suffering with mental illness, not only in Michigan but nationwide, is truly disheartening and yet not surprising. The reality is that more hospital beds won’t solve the problem.
There is a tremendous need for more commercial insurance reimbursement for comprehensive residential treatment. This is especially true for those who no longer qualify for a hospital stay and cannot function effectively in the community or a traditional group home.
In spite of federal behavioral health parity laws, most insurance carriers provide little or no long-term residential benefits or reimbursement. For those carriers that do, it is oftentimes a short-term crisis stabilization stay where benefits are terminated as soon as the person is no longer deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. And ironically, these patients should be cared for in a hospital and not a residential setting.
Notably, Michigan does not have an appropriate licensure for comprehensive adult residential treatment programs. This means that existing programs are inappropriately regulated under the current Adult Foster Care licensure that was implemented many years ago.
The task force created to improve Michigan’s broken mental health system has identified the need for a more appropriate licensure to encourage comprehensive residential treatment programs and enhance insurance reimbursement. Unfortunately, until all of this happens, the likelihood is that we will continue to see more tragedies like those of recent days.
president and CEO, Rose Hill Center